Global leader in the specialty steel market Gerdau has announced the start of operations for the new continuous casting of blocks and billets at the Pindamonhangaba Plant in Brazil. The equipment, which is already in operation, will allow Gerdau to have a more automated process with better performance, resulting in the delivery of differentiated products and an even higher level of quality for demanding markets. The unit's technological update is in line with future prospects for increasing the array of electric and hybrid vehicles in Brazil.The inauguration of the new casting takes the Pindamonhangaba Plant to a new level of competitiveness and modernity. With an investment of approximately BRL 700 million, the equipment will bring gains on three fronts: safety, as it is a more automated and modern equipment, Quality, as the new casting will enable the production of clean steel, whose technology it makes the product cleaner and more resistant, increasing its useful life, seeking to meet the demand of the automotive industry for lighter vehicles; and competitiveness, as the new equipment will allow for a reduction in costs and an increase in the productivity of the operation.Gerdau is also planning a cycle of modernization and maintenance of its special steel operations in Brazil until 2025. Within this plan, which still depends on approvals from the company's board of directors, are investments in maintenance of operations and in technological, environmental and modernization. This plan is divided between the three special steel plants in Brazil: Mogi das Cruzes (SP), Pindamonhangaba (SP) and Charqueadas (RS), with approximately 60% of these investments going to plants in the State of São Paulo and 40% for the operation in Rio Grande do Sul.In addition to the new continuous casting of the Pindamonhangaba Plant, other investments in special steels have recently entered into operation, within the BRL 1 billion investment plan announced in 2021. In 2021, the Mogi das Cruzes plant had its melt shop reactivated, generating 150 new direct jobs. The plant has been dormant since March 2019 and operates with an annual capacity of around 180,000 tonnes of steel, which is rolled at the Pindamonhangaba plant.A new annealing and spheroidizing furnace for steel bars was installed at the Charqueadas plant in Rio Grande do Sul, which brings greater quality and productivity to the production process, gains in competitiveness and new concepts of safety for people. This technological update will also allow Gerdau to meet the growing demand for materials with complex heat treatments, mainly in the automotive sector, since there is an increase in the installed capacity for this process.